Innovation Law Lab and Oregon Law Center, representing four individual plaintiffs, sued NORCOR, contending that certain federal immigration enforcement activities in which NORCOR participates violate ORS 181A.820, Oregon’s disentanglement (or so-called “sanctuary”) law.
NORCOR is a regional jail in The Dalles, Oregon, which was organized by and serves Wasco, Hood River, Sherman, and Gilliam Counties. In addition to its local functions, NORCOR is a party to an Intergovernmental Government Services Agreement (IGSA) with the federal government to detain immigrants alleged to be present in the United States in violation of the federal immigration laws. NORCOR also engages in other federal immigration enforcement activities, including notifying U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) when a foreign-born person is booked on state or local charges, notifying ICE when individuals are scheduled to be released, and maintaining custody of individuals beyond their release dates when ICE so requests.
The plaintiffs in this case sued NORCOR, alleging that NORCOR’s federal immigration enforcement activities violate ORS 181A.820, Oregon’s disentanglement law. That law prohibits state and local law enforcement agencies from using public resource to assist with or participate in the enforcement of the federal immigration laws. The trial court held that NORCOR’s release notifications and extended detention of immigrants violates Oregon law, but that its booking notifications and IGSA do not. Since the trial court’s ruling, NORCOR has stopped its practice of sending release notifications to ICE.
Both parties appealed the trial court’s judgment. The case remains pending in the Oregon Court of Appeals. The court held oral argument on October 30, 2020. You can watch the argument here.